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SXSW 2013: Day 5 afternoon – Aussie BBQ taster at Maggie Mae’s and Captiva Records showcase at the Rooftop at 6th – 16th March 2013

 
By on Thursday, 4th April 2013 at 2:00 pm
 

If you are still standing after 4 straight days of punishing your body with running around, gigs and libations at SXSW and are no worse for wear, then you deserve a gold star. I’ll be the first to admit, Friday night…er, in the wee hours of Saturday morning I didn’t crawl into bed until about 6 AM after a very enjoyable night of dancing and boozing, having been taken out as a very special guest by some boys in a band I’m fond of. Ahem. I won’t embarrass by naming them but they know who they are, and if you are reading this my friends, that was truly one of the most fun nights of my life. Cheers for that. I owe you one when you make your first triumphant visit to DC.

I had such a good time on Friday night and gosh darn it, it was my last full day in Austin on Saturday the 16th, and I was going to give myself the gift of a nice lie-in. I had been invited to see Dan Croll at noon, but my argument was that he was going to be at Liverpool Sound City where we’re having a stage and I’d have a chance to see him then, and since he now has an American record contract (so I heard?) I will see him on this side of the pond eventually anyway.

I had made a promise to Larry and Johnny of our friends the AU Review to check out the Aussie BBQ this year, since I didn’t have time in 2012, so I stopped into Maggie Mae’s, where I was overwhelmed with all the Australian talent that was going to be showcased across the three stages there. I used to think the Brits were the only country to have an awe-inspiring presence at SXSW, but Australia makes good work of taking up the entire last day of the festival to showcase their country’s musical best. See all of the AU Review’s excellent coverage of this year’s Aussie BBQ, as well as previous years, through this link.

Bearhug Aussie BBQ SXSW

After popping my head in to say hello to Larry between his very busy schedule of video interviews, I went looking for Johnny, who was tasked to take photos of bands on all three stages. When I couldn’t find him, I went downstairs to enjoy a bit of Bearhug, an alt-rock band from Sydney. Kind of slacker rock / Lemonheads sounding. Then I went upstairs to catch a bit of indie band the Rubens, who I saw at the triplej Unearthed night at the Oxford Art Factory during ARIA Week in Sydney last November. I was hoping to see if I would change my mind on them, given that they were playing in an entirely different environment. Nope. ‘My Gun’ still sounds cheesy and a poor man’s Oasis. Sorry, guys.

After a brief catch-up, some laughs and hugs and wishes for each other for safe travels home, I was off to my next destination. Emails had flitted back and forth in my inbox the previous night before and after I caught some shut eye, and suddenly I found myself being invited to see a couple different bands at a free showcase on Sixth Street. As fate should have it, all three of the bands happened to be playing at the same exact showcase being put on by Captiva Records, a music promotion and indie record label based locally in San Marcos, Texas, taking place on the Rooftop at 6th. I am not sure who decided which bands would play on their afternoon shows that went on all week, as at least on Satruday there was no emcee present or anyone who looked like he or she was running the show. Whoever it was though, he/she did an impeccable job of choosing some great artists to play, especially on the Saturday.

Kitty Clementine SXSW

I was proud of myself that I arrived in good time before I really needed to be there. What I found when I arrived was Australian singer Kitty Clementine, who self-proclaims to be a “big mouth wee belter from down under” on her Web site. Her outfit was vaguely Mad Max apocalypse meets Lady Gaga, which I suppose was appropriate as she found herself using the raised platform in this outdoor atrium-cum-rooftop, writhing against one of the tent poles. I’m no feminist but just…ugh. Please don’t. It makes me take you even less seriously. Her vocal styling was like she was trying to be Amy Winehouse, but Amy has nothing to worry about: it felt like an imitation, and not a great one at that.The guys in attendance appeared to appreciate the sexual writhing around though, with some of the bands I knew joking that they should include some pole dancing routines in their sets. (Just for the record, it didn’t happen. Phew.)

Story Books Captiva Saturday SXSW

The next band was Kent’s Story Books, who if you recall, I saw on the Wednesday night Communion showcase at Maggie Mae’s Rooftop and then interviewed three of the band on Thursday at Blackheart. The show at night was miles away from this last hurrah for the band, playing in the sunshine. I guess you could say that the Austin sunshine is something magical indeed. Their keyboardist Andrew was even wearing sunglasses for the entire set. (Well, almost. Afterwards he said, “I tried, but they kept slipping off my face”. And it’s the trying that counts.) ‘Simple Kids’, from their debut EP ‘To Be a Hunter’ on Communion to be released on the 29th of April, is a melancholy number about young love and how Kris Harris insists, “stay close to your troubles, don’t let them interfere/ with your sense of wonder, ’til it disappears”. Which is what being young and falling in love is all about, right? I think though in Story Books’ case, what got punters into the band was the reckless abandon in which Harris and guitarist Jack Tarrant banged on their guitars. No, sir. This is not just a folk band. Cross those words out and write underneath “rocking out band with folk tendencies”. That’s more accurate.

Knot
Simple Kids
Furniture and Things
Peregrine
To Be Good
Glory and Growth
All Those Arrows

By nature of being close to the action, a good proportion of bands showcasing at SXSW every year happen to be Texan bands. Such was the case with the band up after Story Books, called In the Works. Later that night, I had a run-in with one band members’ parents on 7th Street; his mum recognised me from the venue, asked me why I was photographing all the bands, then asked me (putting it mildly) to write nice things about him on here. Er…

In the Works SXSW

Okay, so here’s my entirely unbiased opinion on this band after hearing them play. Point #1: I don’t know how long they’ve been together or have known each other, but it doesn’t engender much confidence if when you’re playing SXSW, you have to make a point to acknowledge that your next song “is an original”. This made me think most of their arsenal is made up of covers. Huh? Point #2: I didn’t find anything particularly exciting or noteworthy about their set. They’ve also got a vague country/western twangy vibe, which generally doesn’t go down well with me. The good news though is, the band are still in university and have plenty of time to find their sound – or rather a unique sound that will set them apart from any other American band from Anytown, USA. I wish them luck.

The Crookes Captiva Saturday SXSW 1

And then for the third time in 24 hours, it was again Crookes time. It was their fifth and final show of this SXSW and well, it’s like they say: go big or go home. Guitarist Tom Dakin and singer/bassist George Waite were dressed in colourful shirts they’d purchased in Austin; Tom’s, with a tropical flower theme, was most appropriate for playing a gig under the gaze of late afternoon sun. Out the gate they played ‘Where Did Our Love Go’ with so much gusto, it probably caused this neck ligament accident reported a couple days ago on Twitter. On behalf of America, I wholly apologise to the band and the whole of England for any injury caused by SXSW. But it was a wild week of shows, wasn’t it? Trust me, I know. I almost got impaled by George’s wayward mike stand. Last year I had a close call with one of Cashier No. 9‘s guitars.

The Crookes Captiva Saturday SXSW 2

I’ve questioned the wisdom of posting a video of mine of them playing ‘Backstreet Lovers’ because you can hear me singing along a little bit too loudly. There is also a lot of arms and legs flailing from the vocal Crookes’ American fan contingent described previously in Friday night’s review. Our crowd’s singing along was even more evident during the Crookes’ foray onto the atrium platform to perform ‘The Cooler King’, with Tom quipping and pointing at all of us, “you’re our official back-up section!” But what was more important was the amount of cheering and hollering the band got not from us, but from people who had just a half-hour before had never heard of the Crookes before. Maybe this best exemplifies why SXSW is like Christmas to music lovers: keep your ears open, take a chance on a band playing in the sun on a rooftop, and you might just have stumbled on your new favourite band.

Where Did Our Love Go
Maybe In the Dark
American Girls
Sal Paradise
Sofie
Afterglow
Backstreet Lovers
The Cooler King (on top of the atrium riser!)

The Ghosts SXSW

After the sweat-athon that was the Crookes’ set, there was a brief changeover before the Ghosts, who became the last band I would see at SXSW. They’re a project that was started by Alex Starling, who was a supposed “secret” fourth member of the all too short-lived Ou Est Le Swimming Pool, who disbanded following their singer Charles Haddon’s tragic suicide at 2010’s Pukkelpop in Belgium. Out of tragedy, Starling didn’t wallow in his sorrow long. He regrouped, joined forces with drummer Ian Palmer, then headed west to North America to pick up some additional band members.

There’s a roughness, a hardness to their sound, relying on guitars, synths and drums to make something like single ‘Everything Will Do’, with sections loud and punishing like Led Zeppelin’s height of grandeur, interspersed only slightly softer moments. At other times, they’re definitely channeling the most fun aspects of ’80s New Wave dance (have a listen to ‘Underrated’), and as a connoisseur of that era, I can appreciate this fully. It’s definitely a unique style, and I’m glad it just so happened that I got to see them at the conclusion of my SXSW 2013 experience.

 

(SXSW 2013 flavoured!) Video of the Moment #1119: The Ghosts

 
By on Friday, 8th February 2013 at 6:00 pm
 

Update 04 March 2013: we’ve included all the details of their SXSW appearances at the bottom of this post.

Ex-Ou Est Le Swimming Pool member Alex Starling is the frontman of electronic outfit The Ghosts, also starring New York trained jazz drummer Ian Palmer and Canadian keyboardist / violin player Rayna Ferner. The band will showcasing in Austin for SXSW 2013 in March. (We previewed them in the electronic UK acts chapter of the TGTF Guide to SXSW 2013.)

Here is their video for ‘Everything Will Do’, their next single that will be released on the 4th of March, taken from the band’s debut album ‘The End’. Dark, yet suave electropop? Yes, please!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZzy0JfHd8E[/youtube]

SXSW 2013 appearances:
Tuesday 12th March: Sofar Sounds, home of Chris Perez, 7910 Ceberry Drive, Austin, 7 PM
Wednesday 13th March (early evening): The Rooftop, 6th Street, Captiva showcase
Thursday 14th March: The Rooftop, 6th Street, Captiva showcase
Thursday 14th March: Flat Top Burger Shop, 1900 Manor Road, 4 PM
Saturday 16th March: The Iron Bear, 11:10 PM
Saturday 16th March: The Rooftop, 6th Street, Captiva showcase, 10 PM

 

TGTF Guide to SXSW 2013: Electronic and DJ UK artists showcasing at this year’s SXSW

 
By on Tuesday, 22nd January 2013 at 11:00 am
 

Please note: all information we bring you about SXSW 2013 is to the best of our knowledge when it posts and bands scheduled to appear may be subject to change.

We here at TGTF have already brought you the pop and pop hybrid acts list and the follow-up addendum, plus last week’s rock, metal and punk acts list. What I had envisioned this guide to be was simply a handy resource if you were wondering which acts to catch at this year’s marathon week of showcases, parties and secret shows. But even if you’re not attending the big event, I hope it’ll also introduce you to the solo artists and bands you haven’t heard of, because that’s the most exciting thing about SXSW: at any one moment, you could walk into a bar, a club, a hotel, a warehouse, wherever…and you might just discover the next big thing in music. And that isn’t limited to one place or one event. You can find new music anywhere.

This week? Part three of the genre section of the exclusive TGTF Guide to SXSW 2013 continues today with electronic and electronic-based acts and DJs. This kind of music is very near and dear to my heart; when I was younger it was dance music, music with a good beat that you could dance and forget the terrible things I was dealing with in my life. It was weirdly appropriate reading an interview with Ed Macfarlane of Friendly Fires many years later, explaining their music as escapist. I never looked at electronic music was that black and white; just like any other music, you get out of it something different than the next person. But electronic music in particular has a way of making me feel alive in a way that many other types don’t. Below is a listing of all the UK acts I’ve classed as electronic or electronic-based, or are straight DJs.

Electronic / electronic-related bands

The Adamski Kid – is it a commentary of our reliance on electronics these days that there are so many bands now that are only ‘bands’ in the live sense? In the case of The Adamski Kid, the act is Adam Karayiannis, mashing up dance and rock in crazy fashion, the way Talking Heads were crazy. Already a fave of Tom Robinson and Chris Hawkins on 6music and BBC Introducing on Radio1 with Jen and Ally, he’ll probably become a fixture in the UK soon.

Sounds like: the product if Django Django and Darwin Deez had a love child and then spray painted his face so he’d look like King Tut.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pO_7AahdqY[/youtube]

CHVRCHES – if you never thought the words ‘Scottish’ and ‘electropop’ should be in the same sentence like I did, think again. Having landed in the BBC Sound of 2013 longlist, been voted to the top of Generator’s Tipping Point Top of the Tips 2012, and receiving praise from Pitchfork, my opinion doesn’t count for much. But personally, it sounds too cartoony to me to be serious.

Sounds like: bubblegum pop’s wash put through a synth wringer

Alex Clare – 2012 was a big year in America for Alex Clare, and he has Microsoft to thank for that: the computer giant used the East Londoner’s song ‘Too Close’ on their Internet Explorer 9 adverts, firmly embedding the slow-burning, soulful love song with wub wub wubs into the American consciousness and leading to a sold out tour of North America in autumn 2012. While it’s virtually guaranteed that all of Clare’s appearances at SXSW will be rammed, for sure he won’t be playing after sundown Friday until Saturday evening: he’s an Orthodox Jew.

[youtube] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYXjLbMZFmo[/youtube]

Chad Valley (added 10/01/13) – Oxford chillwave at its finest.

Dauwd – In an interview with the Ableton Web site, Dauwd Al Hilali describes his musical process as “[finding] a groove in something that perhaps you wouldn’t expect, for example maybe a recording of an object falling and rolling on the ground. There would be an infinite amount of detail in this, where you could isolate any part and work with the ‘natural groove/rhythm’ it creates. This would be impossible to recreate through MIDI alone, and gives a really organic sound.” Hmmm. Electronic, with a difference?

Duologue – electronic bedroom experimentalists that turned themselves into a full-fledged band playing an interesting mix of electronic and guitar rock.

Catch all of our previous coverage on Duologue here.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpAPvrQs4y8[/youtube]

Eaux – this London trio – formed from the remnants of the Sian Alice Group – make music that’s too dark to be called dream pop, but nevertheless captures your imagination like snowflakes in the deepest, darkest night.

Sounds like: the xx, but more subversive; the Hundred in the Hands, but less dance; Bjork, but less oddball

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0rQoLqih_A[/youtube]

Fenech-Soler (added 10/01/13) – Originally from Kings Cliffe, the synth-loving foursome that made ‘Stop and Stare’ a massive radio hit in 2010 are ready for their SXSW close-up. They’ve already made a huge stir with new single ‘All I Know’, having landed at #6 on our 10 for 2013 readers’ poll.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWrBP6ttlBQ[/youtube]

Read all of our previous coverage of Fenech-Soler here.

The Ghosts – wonder what happened to the other members of Ou Est Le Swimming Pool after the untimely death of their singer at Pukkelpop 2010? Ex-Ou Est… member Alex Starling is the frontman for this electronic outfit also starring New York trained jazz drummer Ian Palmer and Canadian keyboardist / violin player Rayna Ferner.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIC-bOdZmA4[/youtube]

K.I.D.S. – Can anyone out there give me some more info on this band? Besides a pretty anonymous Soundcloud, there’s not much else on the net.

Little Boots – Victoria Hesketh’s most recent single releases, spring 2012’s ‘Headphones’ and ‘Every Time I Say a Prayer’, sees the former La Roux sparring partner head into a more dance – and less pop – direction for her new album, out later this year.

All of our previous posts on Little Boots are here.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJaH2GqT220[/youtube]

Man Without Country – Southern Welsh electronic duo with an unusual writing style: you see, Ryan James and Tomas Greenhalf met in university but now live in different cities, requiring long-distance collaboration. Live, they bring in drummer Mike Monaghan, adding an extra element to the duo’s already rich-sounding soundscapes. They’ve already opened for Mute labelmate M83, so all signs are good for them to be well received at SXSW.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3shX5CuyTs0[/youtube]

Read our live coverage of the duo here.

Modestep – a live dubstep (yes, those wub wub wubs) and electronic band from London. Are they really necessary? I guess we will find out, with their debut album ‘Evolution Theory’ out on the 14th of January 2013 on A&M.

The 1975 – a band from Manchester blending synth into rock? You don’t say! (I readily admit to being completely sceptical about another band from the city that gave us the legendary New Order.) Us here at TGTF actually like The 1975 a lot, especially after they ditched their old name The Big Sleep to avoid confusion with another band from New York of the same name. A number gives you uniqueness, character…something that also describes their music.

Read all of our previous coverage on The 1975 here.

NO CEREMONY/// – you may recall this mysterious Manchester act (why does it feel like I’ve been typing that phrase out umpteenth times?) by the remixes they’ve done for The Good Natured, Zulu Winter, and more recently, their fellow Mancunians the 1975. It’s not clear what those three backslashes are for – maybe they stand for three band members? – but until I physically see any of them live, I’m assuming it’s three skinny English blokes in front of synths and sequencers that together weigh more than they do. Paul Lester wants it to be Natalie Curtis channelling her late father, but I don’t have such fanciful notions…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtNL3Ic30Rc[/youtube]

NZCA/LINES – “A beautiful electronic ode to dislocation.”

Reverend and the Makers – Jon McClure and his merry band from Sheffield will be bringing their high energy, electro-tinged rock to SXSW and not a moment too soon. I was gutted when they pulled out of their Brighton Dome slot at last year’s Great Escape, so it’ll be cool to see them in an entirely different environment.

Read all our previous coverage on the Rev here.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qjq2kiuSikw[/youtube]

Tropics (added 10/01/13) – a Southampton version of Caribou – chillwave, polyrhythmic, Afrobeat-ish.

Young Fathers – “Ol’ Dirty chose his moniker because there was no father to his bastard style. Young Fathers earn theirs by making something so fresh it doesn’t yet have a name. These are three fellas from Edinburgh who’ve been working together since they were 14, who have an elastic mind meld that mimics their fused sensibility of sound, who one day locked themselves in a dingy Scottish basement and came out with something that’d never been done — a fearless combination of beat, rap and song that smells not only of its dark and dank birthplace, but of discovery and of communion.”

Grab a free mp3 of ‘Deadline’, from their release ‘Tape One’, fom this previous MP3 of the Day post.

DJs

Bonobo – named after and not actually a chimpanzee (that much I figured, but you know how my boffin mind works…) London musician, DJ and producer who have already blown minds around the world, so expect the same in Austin.

DELS – The fastest growing genre at SXSW in recent years has been urban / hip hop, though Londoner Kieren Dickens can be described not just in hip hop terms but also on the experimental scene, mixing his loves of garage, electro, and dance. His Facebook says live he tours with three other bandmates but it remains to be seen if they will be brought over for this year’s SXSW.

DJ Abrantee – he’s the host of Choice FM’s drive time show Monday through Saturday and its Popular and Trending Afrobeats show each Saturday night, has his own Sky TV programme (since 2009, and is an actor. Afrobeats are celebratory, and I’m sure he’ll be bringing his carnival to wherever he’s dropping beats during SXSW.

DJ Edu – Kenyan-born, London-based DJ Edu should be familiar to regular BBC 1Xtra listeners, presenting the Destination Africa show, described on the BBC’s Web site as “bringing the sound of the African underground to the speakers of the UK and the world.” Anticipate the best and latest Afrobeats to be dropped.

DJ Yoda – hip hop meets turntables. FACT Magazine describes his music as “technicolour boom-bap and plenty of notable guest spots.” Make of that what you will.

Girl Unit – neither a girl, nor a unit – it’s one man, Philip Gamble, a dubstep musician and producer. Groan. His 2012 EP ‘Club Rez’ has already been reviewed – and favourably – on Pitchfork, so I think it’s not much of a guess that his SXSW appearances will be rammed.

Jackmaster – Glasgow’s Jack Revill has been DJaying now for a decade, but he’s kept himself fresh by puttin<a hrefg his hand in four labels, a club night, and a day job, besides his DJ gigs. Having DJayed all over the world and having made an appearance late last year at Manchester’s Warehouse Project, he’s more than ready for his close-up at SXSW.

Jam City – identity unknown, but he (?) is on Night Slugs with Girl Unit and interviewed him for this Hyponik feature, so my guess is that their vibes are similar. Just a random guess though.

L-Vis 1990 – James Connolly is the co-founder of Night Slugs, whose roster includes previously discussed DJ acts Girl Unit and Jam City and whose origin arose from a monthly club night he and another London DJ Bok Bok hosted. Though he’s found fame as a remixer for Orbital (grab the remix of ‘New France’ here), Passion Pit, Frankmusik and Crystal Fighters, my guess is he’ll be bringing his blend of Chicago house, drum and bass, grime and Baltimore club to Austin.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2sCjO4UeBo[/youtube]

Mista Silva – is Boomboomtah you new religion? Then you’ve already heard of Mista Silva. For everyone else though, I was seriously amused by this bit from his official Web site: “Being of Ghanaian origin, Kwame Amponsa was brought up around the sounds of hi-life and its modern form hip-life where artists rapped and sung in their native tongue over hard hitting and melodic beats. Mista Silva later adapted this to Funky House and became known for blending catchy bars inhis native language with common club chants[,] e.g.[,] the crowd enticing “Kelebom, go down low!” Keen to pay full homage to his roots, Silva made the swift transition from Funky House to Afrobeats.“ And that’s all she wrote.

Redinho – London producer Tom Calvert’s formative years in America could be to blame for what he’s doing now: elevating turntablism to an art form, and mixing hip hop and electronic into his sound. He appeared at last year’s Isle of Wight and will appear at Barcelona’s Razzmatazz right before heading over to Austin, so his name, style and reputation should precede him.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oV1oJOB1nqE[/youtube]

Sophie – I’ve no idea what he (?) sounds like, as all I’m seeing online are remixes. But he’s signed to Huntley and Palmers’ label and keeps having shows with other London DJs, he must be doing something right.

Southern Hospitality DJs – DJs Rob Breezy and Superix founded the now infamous Hip Hop Karaoke London, the first of its kind in the UK and an event that has been a road-block every single month at the Social in central London. Recognised for this and many other dance nights their group put on by tonnes of tv and radio stations, newspapers and other media outlets in Britain, they’ve become a DJ force to be reckoned with and won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. Just shut up and dance!

Sticky – one of the UK’s leading club music producers in the height of the UK Garage scene. His distinctive sound not only made his music unavoidable in the clubs during this era, but also launched the careers of a number of the UK’s leading talents including the 2002 Mercury Prize-winning Ms. Dynamite.

TCTS – Manchester DJ and producer Sam O’Neill offers “futuristic garage with echoes of neo soul and soft whispers of classic Chicago house”.

Toddla T – and speaking of repeat nod surprises, Toddla T gets another nod from SXSW 2 years in a row too, leading me to believe that he’ll again be asked to preside over the dancey DJayed end of some night of British Music Embassy programming at Latitude 30 again. Not really my thing but if that’s what they’re looking for…

Previous coverage of Toddla T are here.

Next week here on TGTF we’ll be bringing the fourth and final genre chapter of the TGTF Guide to SXSW 2013. On Tuesday, we bring the singer/songwriters and folk artistes. Catch us then!

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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